UNHCR hails new global blueprint to aid refugees

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Geneva, July 6 (IANS/AKI) United Nations refugee agency chief Filippo Grandi said on Friday that governments and civil society had achieved “an important milestone” with the conclusion this week here of formal consultations on a new global blueprint for refugees.

“As we confront massive levels of forced displacement in all regions of the world, the international community this week passed an important milestone in its work to improve the global response to refugees,” he said in a statement.

The blueprint or ‘compact’, while not legally binding, will recognise the contributions refugees make to host societies and set out a clear road map on how the international community can come together to address the issue.

There had been “strong and broad support” for the final draft of the compact which would be included in Grandi’s annual report to the UN General Assembly, which will consider it later in the year, he said.

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The document was drafted through an 18 month consultation process between the 193 UN member states, civil society, refugees and international organisations and represents “a joint effort to forge a robust and fairer global response to refugees,” Grandi said.

“There are more than 24 million refugees in the world today, with the vast majority hosted in low and middle-income countries close to the countries wracked by conflicts from which they fled. The burdens are often borne by countries least resourced to shoulder them,” he said.

“The compact aims to share this responsibility more equitably,” he said.

–IANS/AKI

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